CreativeSoul Photography

Photographers Empower Black Girls By Imagining Them As Disney Princesses

Lex Gabrielle 15 Jun 2020

When it comes to many of our childhoods, the Disney princesses always hold a special place in our hearts. Some of the first stories and narratives we learn are about these very powerful princesses and their journeys through life and love. From Cinderella to Belle to Mulan and Pocahontas — these heroines inspired us by overcoming their own struggles. In the end, all of us have wanted to be a Disney princess at one point in time.

Over the years, many photographers and artists have reimagined the Disney princesses in different ways.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disney_Princesses_at_Merida%27s_coronation.jpg

This time around, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, a husband and wife team of professional photographers who work under the name CreativeSoul Photography, recreated the Disney Princesses as young Black girls.

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After sharing the photos, of course, they went viral all across social media.

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The social media response has been amazing with currently over 82,000 reshares on the Facebook post and several other pages. Many people loved the concept and idea behind this photo series.

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The creative team set out to redefine the Disney princesses with their own style and culture.

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The project was a collaboration with hairstylist LaChanda Gatson and CreativeSoul Photography. The goal is of this series is to inspire more girls around the world to start seeing themselves as regal princesses.

"The idea was developed early on in childhood from the consistent lack of representation of black children in mostly all forms of media where children play a significant part," Gatson said in an email to Diply.

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Many young Black girls don't see themselves in the cartoons and fairy tales that are marketed to children.

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For many young girls, it's hard for them to relate.

"Even though I loved watching and reading fairy tales and fantasy, I would often reimagine these characters more relatable to me and my culture," Gatson explained.

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The ideas stemmed from the traditional stories we all know from our childhoods.

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"These princesses were reimagined from a collection of fictional princesses and global fairytales - ones I grew to love throughout my years. I reimagined them as black urban royalty. I chose a team of talented black creatives and created the change I wanted to see," Gatson said.

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One of the biggest takeaways of the series is to promote more inclusivity.

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"I hope this series is just the beginning of endless opportunities of inclusion and more Black creativity in fantasy. Let’s continue to have a conversation and understand that our children matter too," she said.

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The outpouring of admiration for the series was touching for the photographers, too.

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“They said, 'Gosh, we didn’t know that we needed this, but we did. Traditionally, little girls want to be the princesses, but they didn’t see themselves represented. After all these years, there’s just one black Disney princess — Tiana from ‘The Princess and the Frog',” Kahran told Today Parents,

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With the current political climate focused on equality and inclusivity, this could not be more perfect.

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Discussions around the Black Lives Matter movement have been on everyone's mind, and this is one way to showcase that for years, many young Black girls have been cast aside in big-budget movies. This is a way to give them a voice.

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You can also purchase prints from the series on their website.

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If you're interested in purchasing photo prints from this gorgeous and innovative photography series, you can look on their website for sizes and pricing here.

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